HaRav Dovid Lau, Israel’s Chief Rabbi and Nasi of the Beis Din HaGadol, slammed the plans of Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana (Yamina) to make changes to the religious status quo.
Rav Lau made his comments during a meeting with Rabbanim from the US who requested to hear Rav Lau’s opinion on issues of religion and state in the wake of the new government’s stated intent to make changes.
“There’s great importance in maintaining the kashrus and giyur systems that are recognized throughout the world,” Rav Lau said. “All community Rabbanim rely on these systems due to their professionalism and the fact they adhere to the Shulchan Orech while still enabling religious services in a way that suits various populations.”
“We’re all brothers and we all bear the responsibility to guard the Jewish character of the state of Israel,” Rav Lau asserted. “Therefore we must clearly say no to the elimination of the Rabbanut and the destruction of the fragile religious status quo that is barely maintained as it is.”
“Of course, we’re in favor of making improvements…but the baby shouldn’t be spilled out with the bathwater. We must ensure the continued existence of the Rabbanut as it is today.”
Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana (Yamina) has announced his intent to establish a state commission to change the religious status quo regarding issues of kashrus, giyur, and public Shemiras Shabbos. He has already also initiated a plan to minimize Chareidi influence on the appointment of dayanim and is advancing plans to ensure the election of more liberal Chief Rabbanim from the Dati Leumi sector rather than Chareidi ones.
Last week, Reform Rabbi Gilad Kariv (Labor), who is now the head of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, the Knesset’s most influential committee regarding issues of religion and state, said that he doesn’t believe there’s a need for the Rabbanut in Israel.
“We stand behind the opposition to a Reform Chief Rabbi because we don’t believe in the need for the Rabbanut,” he said during a committee meeting.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)